Shakespeare and Company

On imagining what hasn’t, can’t and won’t imagine you, with Margo Jefferson

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Episode notes

Despite being a lauded writer and critic, despite being the winner of a Pulitzer Prize even, Margo Jefferson innovates and takes risks like a writer with nothing to lose. Her new book, Constructing a Nervous System is both the history of a mind’s formation and the deconstruction of a culture and its tropes, as well as what feels like a form of self-analysis taking place on the page, beneath the readers eyes, in real time. It’s a book about race and gender, but also of family and culture, where all four intersect, and how one person used the limitations society sought to place on her as a ladder to climb free of them. 

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The winner of a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Margo Jefferson was for years a theater and book critic for Newsweek and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, Vogue, New York magazine, and The New Republic. She is the author of On Michael Jackson and is a professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts.



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